River Cruise Boat Sinks During Ocean Transfer

December 31, 2013

(9:25 a.m. EST) – A Pandaw River Expeditions boat sank last week during a repositioning transfer from Vietnam to Burma. No one was onboard at the time, but several sailings had to be canceled and passengers re-accommodated onto other boats.

According to Pandaw, 60-passenger RV Saigon Pandaw sank off the Malaysian coast just before Christmas as it was being tugged.

“The ship sank last week because of bad weather and wind,” Jun Hon, of Pandaw's reservations department, told Cruise Critic. “It's a river vessel and there is always a small risk of tugging them over the ocean.”

Similar transfers have been performed several times with Pandaw vessels without any problems, Pandaw's sales and marketing manager, Sven Zika, added.

All affected passengers with upcoming Burma cruises on the boat, which was to be renamed RV Sagaing Pandaw, have been offered alternative cruises on alternative boats, both for the same sailing date or other dates; full refund of their cruise fares. Passengers could also choose to cruise in a different destination or receive full refunds.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor